Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Store Opening: Birchwood and Pine

Birchwood and Pine
by Erica Scheutzow

Akron Empire is happy to welcome back guest blogger Erica Scheutzow who wrote about The White Rabbit and the Pop Up Akron Dinner event last year. When she is not sharing her favorite things about Akron with us, she runs a small business called As I Breathe I Hope, where she handmakes quirky original plush characters made from new and recycled fabrics. Check out AIBIH on Etsy and on Facebook.

You recognize Rachel--she's one of the organizers of Zephyr Mart.
Akron native, Rachel Jernigan, has just launched her new venture, Birchwood and Pine. The store is a wonderfully eclectic vision of mod and shabby chic, tucked away on 6th Street in Canton. The launch party took place on Friday, October 3rd from 7pm-11pm. Guests were treated to drinks and hors d'oeuvres while they explored the new space. My first impression upon entering the shop was that it was so lively. Rachel put so much time and care into creating a unique environment, unlike anything I’ve seen. It’s a mix of vintage and salvaged pieces that create the foundation of the entire store. Refurbished ironing boards as shelves? Yes! Wooden ladders as a clothing rack? Yes! She even had an old school record player spinning sweet vinyl tunes. The tone and energy of the space overall, made me feel inspired and full of wonderment.

From the Grand Opening of Birchwood and Pine, Oct. 3rd

The outpour of love and support from friends, family and fellow artists was prevalent. I left with a happy heart that night knowing that my friend and fellow artist accomplished a long standing goal. I later interviewed Rachel to further my curiosity about the back story of Birchwood and Pine and what’s to come.

What’s the meaning behind “Birchwood and Pine” and how did that name come about?
Rachel: The name Birchwood and Pine comes from the fact that all my art is done on Birch and Pine. I just really like the way it sounds, like it's an intersection.

What motivated you to open your own shop and how did you settle on this location?
Rachel: My main motivation to open a store was initially to have a space where I can sell my work and, when I'm not busy, continue working on projects, without the all the distractions I find at home. The location pretty much fell in my lap after a few months of no one returning my phone calls in surrounding areas. My friend, Mary Elliot owns the salon next door, and she mentioned that the space next to hers was available. I called her that night, met the landlord the next day, and signed a lease the day after that.

LOVE these t-shirts!

A lot of the items in your shop are yours, but you also carry other vendor’s items. What’s the range in product and pricing for your customers?
Rachel: I currently have a lot of my own stuff-tee-shirts, paintings, jewelry, refurbished furnishings.
I also have amazing Jewelry by Stephanie Cole of Sassy Bat Boutique, imported Kimonos and spotless vintage clothing supplied by Mindi Burton of the Sweetest Chill, wooden toy robots by Pat Gerber of the Robot Consortium, and funky chunky knit goods by Tori Todesco of Little Birdie Design Studio. I also have pillows made by Sara Edwards and my men's vintage is supplied by Zach Hudson. Pricing ranges between $2 and $200. People looking to buy a piece of art or shop for smaller gift items should both be happy in my store.

Grand Opening party

Are you looking for more vendors? If so, do you offer wholesale, consignment or both?
Rachel: I will always be looking for vendors. My main concern is that I would prefer to be inclusive, rather than exclusive, meaning the idea of rejecting someone is not something I look forward to. I meet a lot of artists at shows and craft fairs, and for now I would prefer to invite people to sell in my space, rather than have an application process. At this moment, I have already purchased quite a few products wholesale, but I do have a few consignors

What's your vision for the future of Birchwood and Pine?
Rachel: My ultimate goal for the store is to provide other artists and makers of the unique, a venue to sell their work outright to me as the owner, instead of having to do consignment. Consignment is a great, risk free way to fill a space with inventory, but I feel like it often leaves artists feeling undervalued. If I feel confident in someone's work or product, I want them to be able to make a living producing quality work. I will eventually offer online sales as well, but for now I'm concentrating on the physical shop. I think people may be itching to go back toward going into a place and getting an overall sense of a style or mode.

To find out more about Birchwood and Pine please contact Rachel with the information provided (below.) Rachel would also like to extend an invitation to her Halloween Party at the Birchwood and Pine location on Thursday October 30th from 6pm-9pm!

Rachel Lynn Jernigan
Birchwood & Pine:
602 6th St NW, Canton, Ohio
Store Hours: Tues-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat. Noon-8pm, Sun. Noon to 5. Open until 9 on First Fridays.

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